A combined bowling effort from the Central Districts pace attack, and an improved batting performance in the second innings gave them a seven-wicket win against Wellington in Nelson. In a match that saw team scores of 171, 172, 172 and 172 for 3, Central Districts prevailed as Blair Tickner finished with six wickets in the match, including a hat-trick in the first innings, to hand Wellington their first loss of the season. With the tournament at the halfway stage, Central Districts remain the only unbeaten side, and are only one point behind table-toppers Wellington, who have 80 points.
Put in to bat, Wellington's batting line-up hardly put up a show apart from No. 5 Fraser Colson's 88. Wellington struggled to build partnerships, with the highest being of 45 runs for the last wicket between Colson and Ian McPeake. Just before that, Tickner had struck with a hat-trick, taking out Jeetan Patel, Ollie Newton and Travis Muller in the 49th over. Tickner later dismissed Colson to wrap up Wellington's innings for 171 and finish with 4 for 45 from 13.2 overs.
In reply, Central Districts lost opener Greg Hay on the first ball of the innings, while the other opener - Mitch Renwick - also fell for a duck, inside six overs. Useful contributions from No. 3 BD Schmulian (40), wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Cleaver (73) and Doug Bracewell (30) took them past 150, but they managed a lead of only one run as McPeake troubled their top order and tail with 5 for 50, his best first-class figures.
Wellington also bettered their first-innings effort by only one run, this time unsettled by a combined effort from Bracewell (3 for 22), Ben Wheeler (3 for 40), Tickner (2 for 49) and Navin Patel (2 for 40). Matt Taylor top-scored with 49, and this time no Wellington partnership could even cross 35. Wheeler took the last two wickets, leaving Central Districts to get 172.
The most stable display of batting came in the fourth innings as Hay scored an unbeaten 85. Renwick was trapped lbw for 9 and Schmulian was caught behind for a duck, but Hay steered them to the target from 28 for 2, with support from Will Young (35) and Ajaz Patel (34*).